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If you've attended our Zombie Apocalypse Training Camp, and even if you haven’t, here are some basic instructions for making your very own Fustibola.
The Staff Sling, or Stave Sling, or even, Fustibola, is an ancient weapon that pretty much consists of a sling mounted atop a lengthy pole. The premise being the longer the pole the further and higher the projectile goes. Here you can make a fustibola that’s good enough for tossing tennis balls as much as it is stones, pebbles or clay and mud zombie ammunition. But first, you’ll need a long stick, some garden string (or cord), a bit of rubber inner-tube and a big open people-free space!
Practicing your braiding skills, plat together three strands of garden string (or nettle twine if you want to be authentic) until you have two lengths of braid each about a metre in length. Put a knot at one end of each piece.
In ancient times the pouch would have been made from leather, but rubber inner tube is just as effective as it’s tough and already has some shape to it that naturally cups round objects. Your rubber pouch needs to be roughly the dimensions shown in the picture, with a horizontal slit along the middle. You’ll need to make holes as shown so that when tied together it forms a ‘cup’ shape. This will hold your tennis ball, stone or zombie mud bomb comfortably while you launch it into the air.
Ideally the stick should be as tall as you and carved as shown in the pictures. Tie the braid tightly around your stick as shown, paying particular attention to the end of the braid that hooks over the U-shaped channel, as it shouldn’t release until the staff is almost vertical. I have added a rubber washer made from inner-tube cut offs for this version, but I have also made them with wooden disks the size of a pound coin.
From here on you just need to practice launching as shown. Of course, the heavier the missile the better distance. But it goes without saying that you should only do this in an open space clear of people and animals and vulnerable structures like greenhouses! If you live near a beach try launching pebbles out to sea.
If you want to have a go at using this ancient weapon then check out our Zombie Apocalypse Training Camps - only three more workshops left this summer! If you would prefer to make your own Fustibola with us, then drop us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.